Lucky Dragon Young Hyson - A Tea Evaluation
Description of the tea
Lucky Dragon is a Chinese Green Tea grown in the Zhejiang Province in China on the Eastern Coast of China. Shanghai borders this region to the North with Fujian to the South. Zhejiang is one of China’s wealthiest provinces and is a very hilly region – with over 70% of its area being hilly. The higher altitudes are to the South and West. The Province of Zhejiang leads other Provinces in China with regards tea production.
This particular tea has the grading “Young Hyson” which translated means “Flourishing Spring.” It is a high quality tea, harvested at the very start of the tea season before the rains begin. Traditionally hyson referred to old to medium leaves (leaves below the new growing shoots at the top of the bush) manufactured in a rolled long twisted and sometimes almost clam shaped. The term "young" was added to the nomenclature to distinguish that the tea was made from young leaves (new shoots) and therefore better quality and better tasting. This tea became so highly favored in the 1700's that the British Tea Tax was actually higher for this variety over other teas. Lucky Dragon Hyson is from a specific factory that further identified their tea because even though produced in the young hyson style it is much better than typical young hyson.
As an aside, there are people who believe that the tea got its name from Phillip Hyson, an English tea merchant.
Lucky Dragon Young Hyson tea leaves are differentiated from other teas by their twisted and shaped appearance as it is made by thinly rolling the leaves. Lucky Dragon Young Hyson can be subdivided into Chun Mee (a hard, small, twisted leaf), Foong Mee (a long, large, curly leaf), Saw Mee (a small, non-hard, twisted leaf), and Siftings.
The tea leaves evident in the tea sample appear to match Chun Mee / Precious Eyebrow type as they are hard, small and twisted. They are sage in colour with an extremely feint aroma reminiscent of tobacco.
After all infusions are complete, the leaves are a deep green / brown colour.
Personal Experiences of the Tea
After rinsing the tea in preparation for the first infusion, the very hint of tobacco I experienced from the dry leaf really developed into a strong and smoky tobacco flavour. It was not the unpleasant aroma of cigarettes, more a husky cigar smoke aroma with a smokiness I would associate from campfires.
I enjoy a sweeter and more delicate green tea flavour and so I immediately opted for a cooler water temperature of 75c (167f) over a mid range duration of 1 minute 30 seconds. I was immediately pleased with my choice as the first infusion was a delightful and smooth brew which awakened the soft palate in the roof of my mouth. I experienced a very mild astringency but not an unpleasant one.
The second brew I decided to allow an even cooler water temperature to gently infuse the tea leaves. I opted for the same duration to ensure the cooler water enabled the tea leaves to release sufficient flavour for evaluation. This was a very successful brew with a less smokey/tobacco flavour but a simply enjoyable light green tea flavour.
The third infusion I kept the parameters the same – the tea leaves had opened out well but I wanted to draw out the flavour a little more if possible. Sadly it was too astringent and bitter for my liking so I would recommend a cooler, shorter brew for the third infusion. (The cooler brew would reduce the bitterness and a slightly shorter duration would
I experienced a very interesting reaction to this tea when I paired it with food. For the third infusion I tried a small block of Cheddar Cheese with the tea. The taste in my mouth was very bitter and not pleasant. I then opted to try a piece of Macademia nut – this was a delightful pairing removing any hint of astringency from the tea leading to a very enjoyable, final cup.
Given the flavour of the third brew, I opted not to brew the leaves any further as decided they had already given their best flavour in the 1st and 2nd infusion.
Finally I cold brewed fresh leaves to enjoy while I contemplated my evaluation. I served this with ice and slices of lemon. A delightful end to my experience with Lucky Dragon Young Hyson as it was refreshing and light.
Promotional / Marketing Description of the Tea
Lucky Dragon Young Hyson tea is a Chinese Green tea from Zhejiang Province plucked before the first rainfalls in spring with a rich tobacco aroma the flavour is fresh and youthful to match its tea leaves.
This green tea has many health benefits and is wonderful to be enjoyed at the start of the day to promote the metabolism. For those enjoying cold brew, brew it with cold, filtered water over 30 minutes and serve it over ice with a slice of lemon for those hot, humid days of Summer.